Dancers “super-liked” Block 8 — a block sponsored by dating app Tinder and aptly themed “Shiver Me Tinder.”
“(The tent is) the best place to find love!” emcee Kelly Eichenholz joked to the crowd of dancers, dressed in red for the app’s signature color.
Weinberg freshman Scott Odland called Block 8 “a deceitful block, because you think there’s two blocks left but there’s actually three.”
To start off the block, Kim Hanna, chief growth officer of GiGi’s Playhouse, spoke to dancers. Hanna recalled last year’s Dance Marathon, where dancers raised nearly $1 million to benefit GiGi’s Playhouse — an organization committed to helping individuals with Down Syndrome and their families.
“Some people say that if you can profoundly positively impact the life of just one person in your lifetime you can call your life a success,” Hanna said. “The funding we received from NUDM in 2017 has already profoundly changed the health, job opportunities, learning abilities, dreams and self-confidence of thousands of individuals all across the U.S. and Mexico.”
Hanna discussed some of the programs that the money from DM has helped fund, including a new fitness program, GiGi Fit, that is set to launch nationally in the fall. After her speech, dancers watched video messages from Maura Cullen, last year’s DM beneficiary liaison, and GiGi’s Playhouse founder Nancy Gianni and her daughter, GiGi, for whom the organization is named.
McCormick sophomore Fiona Worsfold, who is dancing for the second time, said it was important to hear the impact last year’s money had on GiGi’s Playhouse because it made their fundraising efforts more “real.”
About two hours into the block, dancers began to gravitate toward the middle of the tent. There was palpable excitement in the air as the heavy bass of “Sandstorm” by Darude started playing.
Weinberg senior Janessa Engelmeyer said she has been in the middle of the “Sandstorm” mosh pit for the past three years, and she looks forward to the Block 8 tradition every year.
“It’s a sense of community because you’re all just super hyped up, and it’s Block 8 so everyone’s exhausted and your feet hurt but for three minutes they don’t,” Engelmeyer said. “The amount of energy in the room is astronomical.”
She added that it feels like the whole tent is dancing “as one” during the song.
Toward the end of the block, the finance committee took the mic to announce the results of the $33,000 in 10 hours campaign. Fundraising efforts surpassed the goal by nearly $20,000: the 10-hour total was $51,362.
“It’s crazy that we have the power to do that in less than 10 hours,” Weinberg freshman Alysse DeFoe said. “At first when they said $33,000 I was like ‘how is that possible,’ and the fact that we exceeded it by so much is really cool.”